I AM IN COMPETITION WITH NO ONE BUT MYSELF: ZAHID AHMED

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He’s a complete package. Good looks, acting chops and above all a sense of courage to tread the untried. In a span of six years, Zahid Ahmed has established himself as a formidable artiste and enthralled viewers with his heartfelt performances. The actor struck gold when his drama serial ‘Ishq Zahe Naseeb’ (IZN) directed by Farooq Rind opened to a thunderous response last year. He was lauded for his flawless portrayal of a person suffering from dual personality disorder. Not just that, he recently garnered the best TV actor (critics) at lux style awards 2020 for ‘IZN’.  While Zahid has undeniably made his place in the list of bankable actors, it would be interesting to see what he brings next to the table.

In a recent chat with The Daily Beat, Zahid talks about enjoying stardom, his choice of taking up off beat roles, his film debut and lots more. Read on.

Daily Beat (DB): Post the success of ‘IZN’ and ‘Mein Na Jano’, I am sure you must have hiked your fee with some whooping percentage? 

Zahid Ahmed (ZA): Yes! Earlier, I charged an arm and a leg; now I charge chins too (smiles). I am passionately focused towards improving my craft; it’s more important to enjoy the process, give it your best and then hope for the best. 

(DB): What’s the response like you are getting from within and outside the industry?

(ZA): I’m too excited! The response has been overwhelming and artistically fulfilling. I feel validated that my work is getting appreciated and also resonates with the viewers. I am eternally grateful to the showbiz fraternity and my fans.  

(DB): Did you expect ‘IZN’ to be a smash hit? How did you managed to get into the skin of Sameer and Sameera simultaneously?

(ZA): I was elated with the massive acceptance and response by the viewers. I agreed to do it the moment I read the script. It was challenging to play a dual role therefore I dived into Sameer at first. We kept an uneasy and unnerving approach to the character for a couple of weeks until it was worth to shoot. Sameera was basically an amalgamation of my observations about the women in my life. She is the queen of my femininity; and will always have a high place in my psychological makeup. I hope the success of ‘IZN’ will encourage producers to bring up such amazing characters and stories more often on screen.

(DB): You played a blind man in Mein Na Jano. Is it difficult to get attached to these very different characters? 
 

(ZA): I was quite fond of (Nain) he was a good guy but unbelievable at the same time. I like to portray such twisted characters primarily because it initiates the debate. It allows depicting the wrong deeds within the society and provides possible solutions to it.

(DB): You’ve dared to choose off-beat characters that the audience can relate to. Are you taking risks to compete with your contemporary actors?     

(ZA): I took a big risk early on in my career, when I played a psychopath in my second project (Alvida) after debuting as a hero. Honestly, I don’t think on such terms. I am in competition with no one but myself. People do compare, but I believe every individual is unique.

(DB): Why did you choose to do a negative role in drama serial Faryad’?

(ZA): I want to give the viewers a different flavor every time I sign on something new. The beauty of Faryad is that it is centered around my character ‘Murad’. He’s a deceiver, greedy and horrible person who can go to any extent to harm people around him. He’s a product of poor upbringing who eventually faces the consequences of crossing the moral boundaries. I am happy that people are hating me (smiles).

(DB): Talking about your filmography, ‘Sorry’ was supposed to be your debut film. What’s the update? 

(ZA): Due to some reasons, the production of Sorry has stopped. We did shot some portions of it. I am still associated with the project as per contract.  I have no idea, if they would restart the production or shelve the film. The producers can give the accurate update about it. As of now, the film is on hold.

(DB): With Sorry being on hold, “Ghabrana Nahi Hai’ will be your official film debut. Tell us about it.

(ZA): I used to keep on sharing updates about my cinematic debut; but it never happened. All’s well that ends well, the jinx is finally over. ‘Ghabrana Nahi Hai’ is a complete comic entertainer. I am essaying the role of a not-so-perfect police officer ‘Sikander’ who tells an elaborate lie to win over a girl (Saba Qamar) he’s fallen in love with.  Our characters have been given good screen time so that the audience would connect with them. Earlier, people loved our chemistry in drama serial ‘Besharam’ and telefilm ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’. I am really happy to share the big screen with her. The film also features Syed Jibran in a key role along with Sohail Ahmed and Nayyar Ejaz. The film is directed by Saqib Khan and is a joint production of Hasan Zia and Jamil Baig. I am shooting for the film these days. It is slated to release at Eid-ul-Azha 2021.

(DB): Your Wikipedia page tells us about your unreleased film ‘Jhol’. It was slated to release in 2016. What happened? 

(ZA): Yes! I was approached by the makers; they paid me in advance and suddenly disappeared. I really love such productions (laughs)

(DB): Last but not the least; tell us what made you launch your YouTube channel?

(ZA): My You Tube channel is for my fans to get a taste of what the real life of a celebrity looks like. I feel it’s the right time to connect with my fans on a personal level; my channel depicts the real side of Zahid Ahmed.  

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